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December Poetry from Dee Allen.

Flapper Press is once again proud to present the poetry of Dee Allen.


Gladly say goodbye To the proven nightmare, These past Four years— The precipice On which I stand Is crowded with The eager Waiting on Cures for Both viruses, The one Ailing bodies, The one Extinguishing love. Smooth transition Into another era,

Focus of everybody’s Endogenic wishes, appealing even to my jaded self. When I close my eyes, I hear the popular song of “What Now?”




Ever heard of the Tsalagi Rose? The U.S. government had gotten greedy again in 1828.

They’d found out there was gold underneath the Southern

land called Georgia. Ten years later, the U.S. Army was

sent down there to evict the Tsalagi Indians from mountain

homes they’d held on to for thousands of years.

At gunpoint, the only notice ever given. The original


The Tsalagi Indians were made to take a long cross-country

walk west, all 1200 miles, from Army stockades to some barren

land, later called Oklahoma. Whole families marched through

Mississippi winter snow without moccasins on their feet.

Four thousand died from starving, freezing, disease.

Mothers cried for their young as numbers of their tribe fell

on the way westward. Tribal elders saw that and asked the

Great Spirit high in Galunti* for a sign, anything to lift up

the saddened spirits of their women.

Each time a mother would shed her tears, they’d feed the

ground along Nunna daul tsuny.**

Another trail would form: A trail of snow-white roses grew, starting from one, white as tears, an answer to the tribal elders’ prayers. A sweet-smelling gift from Pachamama.***

Something to show, across several states, that 10,000

Tsalagi Indians had survived genocide.

Now you know about the Tsalagi Rose, an old Native legend.


Written: 2.26.15 [ For the students at Decolonize Academy. ] [ From the new book Elohi Unitsi: Poems [ 2013 – 2018 ], Conviction 2 Change Publishing. ]

*TSALAGI: “Heaven”. **TSALAGI: “Trail Of Tears”. Literal translation: “The trail where they cried.” ***AYMARA & QUECHUA: “Mother Earth”. Literal translation: “World mother.”


Dee Allen. is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on the creative writing & Spoken Word tips since the early 1990s. Author of 5 books (Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater and Skeletal Black, all from POOR Press, and his newest from Conviction 2 Change Publishing, Elohi Unitsi) and 24 anthology appearances (including Your Golden Sun Still Shines, Rise, Extreme, The Land Lives Forever and Civil Liberties United, edited by Shizué Seigel) under his figurative belt so far.

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